December and January are dry seasons in Oklahoma but, fortunately, we had enough rain in the fall to make up for much of the severe drought the state experienced in 2010/2011. I heard on the gardening channel, yesterday, that a healthy, established tree can survive about three consecutive years of drought and we haven't had that. God willing, we won't. I love the Oklahoma climate that can have a day or two of rain in the rainy season with about 5 days of sunny weather. The mid-level soil is retaining enough moisture that, with any luck (i.e., average rainfall), the farmers and ranchers will have better results, this year. We don't have much of a reserve but the farm ponds have filled, at least. Here is ours:
Besides the main pond, above, we have a runoff pond that tends to stay full, too. Not the prettiest things but they stayed full during the drought.
Pearly had a severe relapse with her eyes over Christmas and ended up back on prednisone, two types of eye drops and antibiotics. She also goes back to the specialist, tomorrow, and we hope she'll pronounce her well. She looks good:
Evelyn has been fighting a severe ear infection and a suspected thyroid deficiency so has also been in and out of the vet's office. We changed the antibiotics she's on and they sent off samples to see why the last (powerful) antibiotic she was on didn't help. I do believe her coat is showing significant signs of improvement since she went on the thyroid medication. Her front half is gorgeous but her hips and tail have lacked an abundance of guard hairs and the undercoat is matty and stiff. In the past week or so, I've noticed the back hair is filling in, her tail hair is longer, and the coat, overall, is getting back the typical Samoyed silver glisten (like the way snow sparkles in the sun). It also feels significantly softer.
The kids stayed in NYC for Christmas but we skyped Christmas morning so I could watch them open their presents. It was Grandson's first Christmas and while I didn't get to hold him, this was the next best thing. Check out this adorable photo taken by my son of Charlie watching Grandma on the monitor!
I've been doing quite a bit of tromping around out on our property and getting some fun wildlife photos on the trail cams I have set up out there and in the pasture, out back. The cams can be set for photo shots or video. I tend to get fox and coyote in the home pasture, but the bobcats, raccoon, deer, possum and armadillos show up on the property. Here are some of my trophies:
Here is a coyote that was not taken by a trail cam. I startled when I was crossing a field:
I've also got quite a few videos. Our three legged coyote comes by regularly and I've learned the Fox swings by right after dark. If I hide in the barn, I can see him through the window. In one video, an owl swooped down and knocked the fox over! The fox looked freaked out.
Here are some recent trail cam video links:
Fox and Coyote in the Pasture
Red Fox in the Pasture
Bobcat on the property
We will be coming up on mating season for a lot of the wild critters in the next few months and I'm anticipating getting baby pictures by late spring - pretty excited about that. I heard a Great Horned Owl sending out a mating call, yesterday. They nest very early.
I've made a lot of progress on my 911 quilt. It will end up being a queen size with 16 twelve inch blocks (finished) on point. Yesterday, I finished up the sashing. Next step is the border and I am still pondering how I want to do it. My inclination is to make hourglass blocks using the colorful fabrics I used in the stars. I don't have enough matching neutrals but I might be able to scrap in some that are close that I have on hand. That would be my preference. Here are some recent photos - some are the backside:
I spent a good part of yesterday working out in the barn and when I came outside, Mr. Wonderful was up in a tree trimming branches. High up. I debated chewing him out for doing something so foolish as to climb a tree without someone available to call an ambulance but decided to just keep my mouth shut, pick up fallen branches and keep the phone handy. I used to think that pointing out that I was worried would convey to him that I loved him. I have decided that what that mainly conveys is a perceived lack of faith and, further, fosters a grumpy wave of irritation. And it is not like anything I say is going to cause him to be more cautious, headstrong man that he is. With age comes wisdom, I suppose. Or perhaps I am just conserving my strength for a battle I can win and is worth fighting.
I heard a lot about how often he used to climb trees as a lad. I managed to avoid pointing out that he climbed trees FORTY FIVE YEARS AGO. I expect that he will be hobbling around today and tomorrow, wondering why in the world he feels so sore. But he is a grownup and can make his own decisions about how to abuse himself.
The good news is that he returned to earth in one piece and the tree looks tons better. But even so, that is is one ugly tree:
I'm participating in the wildbird survey and need to go check the birdcam before I send in my results. I make my own suet and they seem to like it. I also moved the pasture trail cam to behind the barn and haven't yet checked it, today, so I'm off to do that, right now.
I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas and that 2012 is kind.
Happy Quilting, Penny, Evelyn and Pearl